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VINEGAR VALENTINE CARDS

Do you know what I discovered the other day?  Valentine’s Day is on its way! And depending on whether you have someone special in your life at the present time, V-Day can be a bitch, which is really a shame.  We need as many expressions of love as we can get our hands on in this day and age.

So many people absolutely loathe Valentine’s Day.  Many comedy routines have been written about the single man who breaks up with a woman in January—so as to avoid Valentine’s Day and the expectations of everything from a dozen roses to an engagement ring—and resumes his booty calls in March, if his boo hasn’t murdered him in the interim.

Side Chick Valentine Meme

I’ve been there.  In my youth I had many a “butt-ugly cry” Valentine’s Day moment because some “jabroni” ghosted on me because of that forced romantic day coordinated by the card, chocolate, and flower industry (“But, I thought he loved me, boo-hoo…”).  Or worse, there was no man within a million miles of me that cared if I lived or died.  Consequently, I feel about Valentine’s Day like I feel about Mother’s Day:  love and respect me every single freakin’ day of the year, and we’ll be good for the count on the V-Day and the M-Day.

Of course, in the interest of full disclosure, I have been married to one of the most romantic men in the world for the past 39 years, and my Boo tends to knock it out of the park on Valentine’s Day.  I’m not gonna lie:  it does feel good after all those years of living in a loveless desert.  But he also fulfills my primary wish of making my everyday loving worth the journey.  Valentine’s Day is just the cherry on top.  I guess what I’m sayin’ is that this giant manipulative day should not break or make a relationship—it is the daily issues of the heart that count.

Calvin Hobbes V day Waterson

Cartoonist:  Bill Waterson/Universal Uclick

 

As I began to muse over the pros and cons of Valentine’s Day, I decided to check out its history.  Turns out, this whole thing started out as an ancient fertility festival thousands of years ago.  It was called the Festival of Lupercalia.  If one were fortunate or misfortunate enough (especially if you were a woman) to be living during that time, to celebrate this fertility mash-up, men would strip themselves naked, kill a bunch of goats, pull a single woman’s name out of a gourd and commence to whipping the shit out of said woman with the remains of a bloody goat.  No word on how many woman hooked up with these “dreamy” men or how many children were born as a result of the bloody goat S&M chase.  (Personally, I would have become a lesbian on the spot—right there in the middle of the first bloody-goat whip:  “Yo, yo, yo, people, I’m battin’ for the other team!”.) But when the Catholic Church took a gander at this pagan ritual of “love” a century later, Pope Gelasius I decided that this nastiness could use a bit of dry cleaning for the “modern world” of the 15th Century.  The Pope reached back into the Third century and pulled up not one but two martyrs by the name of Valentine who had been beheaded by Claudius II.  Viola!  Bloody goat festival was now out and St. Valentine’s Day (honoring two Christian saints) was now in!  Ain’t life grand?

The info about how a fertility festival got turned into Valentine’s Day was so fascinating, I decided to check out the history of Valentine’s cards since this is an American ritual from kindergarten to the nursing home. (Remember purchasing enough Valentine cards for every child in your kid’s elementary school class?  Or even worse—in the teen years—when every kid in the class received a Valentine card except your kid?  At that point, I usually wanted to kill somebody and bring down a pox on all their houses.) Did you know that 18.2 billion dollars was spent on Valentine accoutrement last year and 1 billion of that total was on V-Day cards?  Holy Moly!  Who’s buying all these cards?  According to the Greeting Card Association, 85% of V-Day cards are purchased by women.

You get a card meme

I must confess that I’ve spent hours over the course of my lifetime looking for the “perfect” Valentine’s Day card—wanting to express that perfect sentimental, gushy statement. But, like most things, V-Day cards weren’t always flowery profusions of love.  Between 1840 and 1930 there was a thing called “Vinegar Cards”—featuring rude, insulting poetry sent by a person’s haters to course-correct some behavior the sender thought was abhorrent in the receiver.  Like the Facebook and Twitter trolls of today, the Vinegar Cards were sent anonymously.  

Some call you, madam, a female dog,

They err, for you certainly are a whole hog;

Of your piggish charms need I say more.

When your temper is up you’re a bit of a bore.

The devil it’s said once went into the swine,

And none but he will e’er be your Valentine.

From: American Antiquarian Society in Worcester

*

OR HOW ABOUT THIS ONE…

“You’ve got a dual personality.  And nobody likes either of them!”

*

Yikes!  Some of these Vinegar Cards could get so brutal that duels between men would break out because of them.

visiting pest vinegar valentine card 1930

Sent to Ward off Uninvited Guests/c. 1930
Courtesy of Lisa Hix, “Happy Valentine’s Day: I Hate You!”

 

bondage 1910 womens suffrage

Sent to Shame Men Who Let Their Wives Join the Suffragette Movement/1910
Courtesy of Lisa Hix, “Happy Valentine’s Day: I Hate You!”

 

Come to think of it, I could use a few of these Vinegar Cards today when expressing my Valentine disgust with the current administration.  What if I sent one to Trump over his latest support of the wife beaters on his staff?

Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

The fish rots from the head,

Shame on you.

Signed: #METOO

Trump and Women David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Cartoon used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

 

Or how about a Vinegar Card to the Evangelical leaders who came out in support of Trump’s support of the wife beaters in the White House:

Roses are Red,

Violets are Blue,

Are you sayin’ it’s okay to abuse women?

‘Cause that’s what Jesus would do?

Signed: Screw you!

Evangelicals Bob Englehart CagleCartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: Bob Englehart, CagleCartoons.com

 

On the other hand, spewing hatred against hatred rarely stomps out the fires of war.  So I suppose spreading a little bit of love via flowers, cards, candy, or jewelry is better than nothing.  We all have such hurting hearts, and we all could use a little love these days (actually a lot of love, if the truth be known).  So bring it on!  From my heart to your heart with love:  HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

 

Valentine Gifts Dave Granlund Politicalcartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com

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THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOK:  “The Fetus Chronicles:  Podcasts From my Miseducated Self” is on sale now at Amazon!

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com

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***

Trump Valentine to Putin John Darkow PoliticalCartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: John Darkow, PoliticalCartoons.com

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

REFERENCES

http://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day/history-of-valentines-day

https://www.independent.ie/style/sex-relationships/theres-a-pretty-dark-history-behind-valentines-day-36578613.html

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1955/2/14/valentines-feature-insults-not-hearts-parsenic/

https://www.collectorsweekly.com/articles/happy-valentines-day-i-hate-you/

http://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/valentines-day-numbers-money-spent-flowers-candy-cards/story?id=45480956

 

 
4 Comments

Posted by on February 13, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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VALENTINE’S DAY CARD KISS-OFFS!

Do you know what I discovered a long time ago about finding a decent man?   It ain’t easy, Baby! I had to kiss a lot of frogs before I found a prince and date a lot of cretins before I landed a Renaissance man. It took years, but I finally found the love of my life (WW, “White and Wonderful”).  We have fought the demons of life together for over forty years, and we’re still holding on to each other like a couple of otters.

Sweet Otters

But I almost missed him—almost missed him by a thousand miles or more because I kept giving my heart to men who didn’t deserve me. It’s as if the Cupid who “shot” me with his love arrows, that drew me to those other men, was stoned and in need of target practice. Had I not instinctively known the Maya Angelou dictate—“When someone tells you who they are, believe them the first time—I would have “settled” and summarily screwed up my life. Instead, I walked—no, I bolted—the minute they did me wrong, and I never looked back.  I didn’t wait around to see if they would change because I knew they wouldn’t.  And I kept on running until I eventually found my main man.

Cupid Screw Up

So I decided this Valentine’s holiday to send “Valentine Kiss-Off” cards (à la Jimmy Fallon’s “Thank You Notes”) to all the men I loved before, and thank them for showing me what I didn’t want in a man. When the genuine article came along in WW, there was no confusion. I recognized him as the “real deal” almost immediately because my ex-boyfriends had shown me by their behavior what a real man should look like. (My apologies to all poets living and dead—and all those yet to be born.)

*** *** ***

DEAR LYING, JIVE-TIME, SECRETLY MARRIED BOYFRIEND OF 1971

Bad Romance

You promised you loved me,

I believed you, I did.

Though you rarely showed up,

Half the times that you said.

I decided to surprise you

That summer on tour,

Drove through the night

Met yo’ mama at the door.

“My son ain’t here,”

(Vomit churnin’ in my gut)

“I thought you was a good girl

Who knew you was a slut.”

Turns out you’re married now,

(Yo’ Mama thought I knew)

I hugged and thanked her twice,

Said: “Tell your boy, we’re through.”

Happy Valentine’s Day,

You cheatin’ a-hole Ex of old

The man who loves me now

He’s a “Mensch”* made of gold.

*MENSCH: Someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character. The key to being “a real mensch” is nothing less than character, rectitude, dignity, a sense of what is right, responsible, decorous. (Rosten, Leo. 1968. The Joys of Yiddish. New York: Pocket Books. 237) Urban Dictionary

*** *** ***

DEAR ARROGANT, COLD-HEARTED, SOB BOYFRIEND OF 1969

Lose Weight Valentine Card

Damn, you was such a handsome boy!

Pardon me: a fine lookin’ man

All decked out in dress blues

Back from Viet Nam.

You knew it too, you son of a bitch

Thought you was all that and a bag of chips.

Skin the color of golden wheat

With succulent, luscious, to-die-for lips.

Dark brown eyes that had me,

Made me—drownin’ in pools of lust.

Then when you was all spent,

Your goddamn mood went bust.

You said: “You put on weight while I was gone

Yo’ ass not as fine as it used to be,

Slim it on down, Lil Chubby-ass Chunky,

If you want to be seen round town with me.”

Happy Valentine’s Day, OO-RAH!

My Ex-Marine in black and blue.

I walked out on your ass that very day,

Married a man, a gazillion times better than you.

Tells me daily how beautiful I am,

(After 40 years, I know he’s probably lyin’)

So what?—he really loves me for me

And I bless him for even tryin’. **

**I AM WHAT I AM: “I am what I am, I am my own special creation. So come take a look, give me the hook or the ovation. It’s my world that I want to take a little pride in, My world and it’s not a place I have to hide in, Life’s not worth a damn, Till you can say, ‘Hey world, I am what I am.’” –La Cage Aux Folles; Lyrics by Jerry Herman

*** *** ***

DEAR STUPID, CLUELESS, NEVER-PICKED-UP-A-BOOK-IN-YOUR-LIFE, BUT YOU KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT EVERYTHING, BOYFRIEND OF 1970

Sarah Palin Meme

Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

You called me out

For not “gettin’ down with the peeps” like you.

 

Roses are red

Violets are blue,

You said I was actin’ all white with my talk

Said I read too much, too.

 

Roses are red

Violets are blue,

I dumped your stupid ass

For someone much smarter than you.

 

Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

Valentine, you’re still shuckin’ and jivin’ in the ghetto.

Look at me! Traveling the world—praising God every day I got rid of you. ***

***LET NO ONE ELSE DEFINE YOU: “If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.”— Audre Lorde

*** *** ***

A VALENTINE WISH FOR ALL MY READERS FROM A WOMAN WHO HAS BEEN IN LOVE FOR OVER 40 YEARS WITH THE ONE THAT WAS MEANT TO BE—HERE’S THE SECRET TO LOVE:

Love someone who makes you laugh

(Anonymous Google Meme)

*** *** ***

Old Couple Farts

“Sometimes the more chances you give the more respect you lose. Your standards begin to be ignored when you let people get comfortable in knowing that another chance will always exist. They start to depend on your forgiveness. That’s why I’m no longer a slave to apologies. Treat me right the first time because I can’t guarantee you a next time (emphasis mine). It’s impossible to keep me once you’ve lost my trust. I’m not saying you have to be afraid to lose me, what I’m sayin’ is . . . I’m not afraid to walk away.” — @TrentShelton #RehabTime

“The heart that’s meant to love you will fight for you when you want to give up, pick you up when you’re feeling down, and will give their smile when it’s hard for you to find yours. They will NEVER get strength from seeing you weak, power from seeing you hurt, or joy from seeing you cry. The heart that’s meant to love you wants to see the BEST YOU, not the hurt you! Never forget that.”—@TrentShelton #RehabTime

 

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Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
17 Comments

Posted by on February 7, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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